The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum


Posts by Jennie Thomas

At the Library and Archives: Cleveland Punk Legend Peter Laughner Collection of Recordings and Articles

Wednesday, July 24: 2 p.m.
Posted by Jennie Thomas
The Peter Laughner collection at the L&A helps tell the story of Cleveland's underground 70s scene.

The latest addition to the Library and Archives' Northeast Ohio Popular Music Archives is the new Collection on Peter Laughner, Cleveland punk legend. In his short lifetime, Laughner co-founded both Rocket from the Tombs – a band described by writer Lester Bangs as "an amphetamine-driven blend of Velvets-Stooges" – and Pere Ubu, and was a contributing writer to rock magazines like Creem and an all-around gadfly of the Midwest and New York rock scenes. Journalist Richie Unterberger wrote of Laughner, "As a singer, songwriter, and performer in numerous Cleveland bands, he was probably the single biggest catalyst in the birth of Cleveland's alternative rock scene in the mid-'70s. 

The Peter Laughner collection at the Library and Archives includes rare vinyl, ¼-inch and audiocassette recordings of Laughner solo and with his bands, as well as performances from his wife, poet Charlotte Pressler. Those keen on learning more about the 1970s Cleveland underground music scene will want to read Pressler's first-hand account in the issue of CLE Magazine, also included in the collection; while those interested in Laughner’s pre-punk career will want to take a look at the poster for his first band, a blues group called Mr. Charlie ...


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Through the Lens of Jimmy Baynes: Cleveland Rock and Roll History

Friday, February 8: 4:40 p.m.
Posted by Jennie Thomas
Photographer Jimmy Baynes' images provide a candid look at African-American life, music and culture.

Cleveland has been a hive of live music for decades. The city experienced tremendous growth in the years following World War II and, with it, an explosion of live music venues. The core of this activity took place on the east side of the city, home to Cleveland’s African-American population. Clubs like the Music Box, the Tia Juana, Leo’s Casino and Gleason’s hosted the best jazz, blues and R&B performers the era had to offer. The economic prosperity of the time was mirrored in the pulsing entertainment scene. 

Following this lively scene was postal worker Jimmy H. Baynes (July 12, 1922 – September 9, 2010), who supplemented his weekly paycheck through Baynes Foto Service at 2220 East 87th Street, primarily photographing local events in the African-American community. Though Baynes was not a trained photographer, the images he created over  three decades, from the 1950s into the 1980s – whether they are of weddings, beauty competitions, burlesque shows or live music performances  – provide an authentic and candid glimpse into African-American life, music and culture. Throughout the years, Baynes’ photographs appeared in Cleveland magazines and newspapers, such as the Call and Post.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and ...


continue Categories: Hall of Fame, Library and Archives, Education, Black History Month

Scotty Moore Papers and Elvis Presley at the Library and Archives

Tuesday, January 8: 4 p.m.
Posted by Jennie Thomas
Image of Elvis Presley, Scotty Moore, Bill Black and DJ Fontana from the Scotty Moore Papers

To celebrate what would have been Elvis Presley’s 78th birthday on January 8, 2013, the Library and Archives is highlighting some of its collections related to the undisputed King of Rock and Roll. These collections include books; magazines, journals, and fanzines; article clippings; handbills, album flats, and posters; photographs and slides; correspondence; record executive artist files; financial records; and commercial audio and video recordings. Of particular note among these is the Scotty Moore Papers.

Scotty Moore participated in the historic early sessions at Sun Records that arguably marked the birth of rock and roll. Moore led a group called the Starlite Wranglers before Sun founder Sam Phillips teamed him up with Elvis Presley – a relationship that would continue from 1954 to 1958. Moore’s early background was in jazz and country, and he put these influences to use by counterpointing Presley’s vocals with melodic guitar solos that helped launch the rockabilly revolution. In addition to working as an engineer and session musician, he played on many of Presley’s Nashville sessions at RCA’s Studio B. Moore, bassist Bill Black and drummer D.J. Fontana served as Presley’s band onstage and on record until March 1958, when ...


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Explore the Legacy of Jimi Hendrix at the Rock Hall's Library and Archives

Tuesday, November 27: 9 a.m.
Posted by Jennie Thomas
A rare photograph of Jimi Hendrix performing with Curtis Knight and the Squires

Jimi Hendrix was born 70 years ago today, on November 27, 1942. The Library and Archives’ collections showcase Hendrix as much as – if not more than – most inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. His great rock and roll legacy is the basis for expansive collections that include books, magazine and journal articles, commercial and bootleg audio and video recordings; concert handbills, postcards and posters; record executive artist, business and subject files; promotional and concert photographs, and handwritten lyrics – all related to Hendrix’s meteoric career.

Library and Archives collections focused on Hendrix include those donated by Michael Goldstein, Ed Chalpin, and Jeff Gold. Goldstein is a New York City publicist who served as Hendrix's press manager and publicist from 1967 until Hendrix's death in 1970, and  his collection contains clippings, printed ephemera, photographs and press releases related to Hendrix and other artists with whom Goldstein worked.

Ed Chalpin, an entrepreneur and record producer, signed a three-year recording contract with Hendrix and his New York-based R&B band, Curtis Knight and the Squires, in October of 1965. The contract gave Hendrix only one percent of any royalties that his recordings earned and the sum of ...


continue Categories: Hall of Fame, Inductee, Library and Archives, Exhibit

Spotlight Exhibit: Chuck Berry Collection at the Library + Archives

Wednesday, October 17: 10:30 a.m.
Posted by Jennie Thomas
Chuck Berry UK tour program circa 1964 at the Rock Hall Library and Archives

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and Case Western Reserve University will honor rock and roll pioneer Chuck Berry during the 17th annual American Music Masters® (AMM) series this October. Roll Over Beethoven: The Life and Music of Chuck Berry, a weeklong celebration beginning October 22 and culminating with a special tribute concert on October 27, will tell the story of one of the first musicians to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.

 As part of the celebration, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum’s Library and Archives has created a spotlight exhibit illustrating both essential and lesser known details about Berry’s life and career through materials such as concert posters, photographs, books, and audio and video of live performances – from his start with Johnnie “B. Goode” Johnson in the Sir John Trio in 1952 to his resurgence in the 1970s.

Chuck Berry performance invoice Ohio the Raspberries bandThe exhibit contains 14 items from the Museum’s permanent collections, including sheet music to his 1955 hit song “Maybellene” that helped ignite the rock and roll revolution; a promotional photograph for “School Day (Ring! Ring! Goes the Bell)” from his first album After School ...


continue Categories: Inductee, Exhibit, Event, Hall of Fame, American Music Masters, Library and Archives, Spotlight Exhibit

Growing the Northeast Ohio Popular Music Archives

Friday, August 31: 11 a.m.
Posted by Jennie Thomas
Master tapes of Cleveland punk legends the Dead Boys are part of the NEOPMA

Earlier this month, myself, the Grateful Dead archivist Nicholas Meriwether (who contributed to the Rock Hall's Grateful Dead: the Long, Strange Trip exhibit and wrote about the Dead's "best performance") and nine other archivists from a wide array of archival institutions presented at the Society of American Archivists’ annual meeting in San Diego.

Founded in 1936, the Society of American Archivists is North America's oldest and largest national archival professional association. SAA's mission is to serve the educational and informational needs of more than 5,500 individual and institutional members and to provide leadership to ensure the identification, preservation and use of records of historical value.

Archivists from The Pennsylvania State University; McDonald’s Corporation; Harley Davidson Motor Company; University of Alabama Rare Books and Special Collections; The Coca-Cola Company; ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives; Microsoft Corporation; American Heritage Center at the University of Wyoming; the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center; the Grateful Dead Archive at the University of California, Santa Cruz; and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum Library and Archives, gathered to each give a 5-minute talk about archival advocacy in their institutions and dialogue with each ...


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Jane Scott Collection Arrives at the Rock Hall Library and Archives

Thursday, August 9: 5 p.m.
Posted by Jennie Thomas
Beginning to sort the Jane Scott papers at the Rock Hall Library and Archives

Recently, the Library and Archives acquired the collection of Cleveland’s own Jane Scott, which includes items accumulated over the course of Scott’s long career as the first rock critic at a daily newspaper: interview notebooks, autographs, personal and promotional photographs, handbills, tour books, concert programs, sheet music, scrapbooks, posters, set lists, press passes, buttons, books, magazines, newspapers, fanzines, LPs, 45s, audiocassettes, CDs, videocassettes, DVDs, correspondence, artist press kits and newspaper clippings.

Packing up all the materials from her apartment and moving them to the Library and Archives took nearly five hours, with the guidance of Scott’s estate attorney and myself, and the assistance of four professionals from local Wood-Lee International Art Handler. The estate attorney had much of the material sorted by type of material in advance of our visit, which made the entire enterprise go more smoothly.

Often when archivists are asked to do this type of work, there are few bodies to assist and even less organization, so it was refreshing to come into this environment where not only had some level of organization been accomplished for us — filing cabinets emptied into cartons and a closet full of clippings and other documents sorted and ...


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